Bella, soft pastels on Canson paper

I used mainly Schminke pastels and some Derwent pastel pencils. I tried the Sennelier, I’m not crazy about them but their pigments are gorgeous. When I do portraits, I find the Schminke’s almost mimic human skin.

This was a quick one done in an evening, no patience to do anything finer. And why should I?

I would like to study famous pastel artists like Redon, Maurice Quentin de la Tour, Renoir. Their pastel portraits glowed!!

This is my cousin’s granddaughter Bella, who can resist that cheeky monkey?! Her ggrandfather was my Uncle Earl, I loved him so much. We were so poor and he would bring us lots of clothes from the US when New England was a clothing industry king. He died way too early and I miss him.

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Browns Yard Church and Cemetery

Browns Yard Church and Cemetery, New Brunswick, Canada

I’m not happy with this one, but it reminds me of home. All my ancestors from 1800s are buried here.

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Brown’s Yard Covered Bridge, New Brunswick, Canada

Covered Bridge

Browns Yard Covered Bridge, Browns Yard, New Brunswick, Canada. Pastels on sanded paper

I really don’t have the patience for landscapes, but I have been wanting to paint this bridge for ages. I grew up in that area, my grandparents home was just on the other side of this bridge, overlooking it.

Sadly, some idiot burned this bridge in the 70s and now it is just a cement bridge. All I had was an old photo my aunt gave me years ago, very faded.

So I started working on it, and although the first layer always looks horrible and I want to give up, I kept at it ( my motto… Its not a painting, it’s therapy!) and somehow this emerged.

It’s one of my favourite paintings, because of the sentiment attached. My favourite uncle used to fish out those little windows on the side.

I bought some unison pastels and I quite like them. They really add a richness to any painting, a little goes a long way. I havee found that top layers (after spraying) often require a harder pastel, like Nupastel. And of course, nothing beats a Conté pencil for that transparent feel to a painting.

Hope to restore many more old photos from back home. Painting has given me the ability to give back to my community and that feels very good 🙂

If you would like to view the area surrounding this bridge, I have a site dedicated to the area here: Brown’s Yard